Business Certificates

Business Certificate

Filing a Business Certificate

What is a Business Certificate? (MGL Ch 110 Sec.5 & 6)  (‘doing business as”)

A business certificate is the registration of a business that is being conducted and is located within the Town of Lakeville. It is commonly called a “d/b/a” (doing business as). Its primary purpose is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and address of the owners of the business.

Who Must File?

Any person conducting a business in Lakeville, individually or as a partnership, under any title or name other than their own name must file a business certificate with the Town clerk. If a corporation is operating a business in a name, other than the incorporated name, they too need to file Exemptions.

The following are EXEMPTED from filing a business certificate with the Town Clerk (unless a bank requires a business certificate):

  • Corporation doing business under its true corporate name which is required to file records and reports with the state secretary, corporations division.
  • Partnership doing business under a title which includes the true surname of any partner.
  • Association which has complied with MGL ch.159 sec.5 & 6 related to common carriers whose agents must file information with the state treasurer.
  • Partnership, joint stock company or association conducted under a written instrument or declaration of trust, provided that the names of the trustees, with a reference to the instrument or declaration of trust, have been filed on a business certificate.

Where does one file?

File with the Town Clerk, 346 Bedford Street, Lakeville, MA 02347, either in person or by mail. If filing by mail the business certificate must be completed, signed and notarized. A check in the amount of $30.00 made payable to the Town of Lakeville, and a self-addressed stamped envelope must accompany the certificate.

Amending a Business Certificate

What if I am no longer in Business or I move?
If a business is discontinued, or it the information related to the business or the individuals conducting the business changes after the original filing, a statement of discontinuance or the new information must be filed with the Town Clerk

Does a Business Certificate Expire?
A business certificate is in force and effect for four (4) years from the date of issue. A new filing must be made every four years as long as the business is conducted.

Do I have to Display the Certificate?
No, however you must provide a copy on request during regular business hours, to any person who has purchased goods or services from such business.

Violations of these provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than three hundred dollars ($300) for each month during which such violation continues.

PLEASE NOTE: The issuance of a Business Certificate by the Town Clerk does not certify or imply that the business registered thereunder is in conformance with applicable local, state or federal laws or regulations. It shall be the responsibility of the business owner to demonstrate compliance with all Town of Lakeville Building, Zoning, Health, and Licensing requirements. Please check with the Building Inspector (508) 946-8804 to determine if the business is an allowed use in the intended zoning/residential district. Additional licenses/permits issued by other town departments may be required in order to do business.

When filing for a Business Certificate, you must complete the application packet that applies to your business: (click the form and Print out)

Helpful Resources

Search the State's Corporation Database